Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I sometimes wonder if I lack empathy. Someone’s grandma dies and they’re devastated but I’m all “she was 90, get over it”.  So my empathy meter often runs low. But I don’t have zero empathy. And sometimes something comes across the interwebz that really makes me realize that I do have empathy. And many of you don’t. And that makes me sad.

We all know the Cincinnati gorilla story. We’ve all taken sides. Most (and I include myself) are quick to point out the faults on each side. The enclosure obviously wasn’t safe enough. The mother obviously wasn’t watching her child.

I’m so fucking done pointing fingers. I don’t care WHO was at fault – if anyone.  Here are the facts: a boy fell into the enclosure and a gorilla had his hands on him.  There are no other facts you need to know. A child needed to be saved from a “wild” animal. There were no other options.

The mother, who may or may not have been keeping a good enough eye on her boy, had to watch this all unfold. She had to stand helpless on the edge of the enclosure and offer up words to her god or her universe that her boy not be hurt.

Have you ever experienced that helpless feeling? And I’m not just talking about watching your child go across the monkey bars and fall each and every time. I’m not talking about having to watch your awkward teenager navigate society. I’m talking about literally not being able to do anything to help your child. I’ve not been in that situation. And I thank my lucky stars I haven't.

I have the empathy to understand what this might feel like. And I have the ability to know that I will NEVER know what this feels like until I experience it. And I hope, and I pray and I send out my positive vibes to the universe that I will never, EVER have to.

So, please. Dig down. Find that empathy for that mother. Put away your pointed finger. Think how lucky she and that boy are to be safe. Send your virtual hugs her way. She knows this story far better than you do. If there is a lesson to be learned, it's been learned. Now is the time to heal.

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